12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Splendid collection of Korngold treasures,
This review is from: Korngold: Orchestral Works & 2 Arias etc. (Audio CD)
This disc covers the range of Korngold's somewhat limited output superbly.
The symphony and wonderful violin concerto, both with lyrical episodes reminiscent of his better known Hollywood film scores comprise disc one. Welser-Most & the Philadelphia Orchestra give a fine account of the complex but deeply enjoyable symphony. The violin concerto is an earlier recording but superbly played by Ulf Hoelscher and Willy Mattes with Radio SinfonieStuttgart.
Disc 2 has the suite from Much Ado About Nothing, Opus 42 Theme & Variations, the Piano Trio and 2 arias. With the exception of the arias these disc 2 works were unknown to me and one of the reasons for acquiring this 2 disc set. They are highly enjoyable if somewhat diverse works and make up this excellent cross section of the set.
If there is any dissapointment here it was perhaps with the arias, Te Kanawa's singing of Mariettas Lied did much to bring this lovely song to the public arena , unfortunately it now seems to lack the edge that Katarina Dalayman & the Swedish Opera bring live to the whole opera on Naxos however this is the next best thing! Her diction is good but not perfect and the tempo is slower than I would have prefered but...as I said she did much to popularise this aria and I am splitting hairs - see comment below about placement.
Hampson sings Pierrots Lied from the same opera but he too has been eclipsed by several others though it's still a very lovely memorbale account with a rather showy soto voce ending only Hampson can do!
In truth the real problem isn't with these arias themselves or the performers but their placement at the end of more modern and slightly more atonal works which makes them sound just a little dull, perhaps you should program them at the beginning of disc 2 and that would work better. Indeed I tried it that way and it does except for the that hushed ending from Hampson which deserves to hang as a final word quite on its own!
But for the price it is a bargain and even though I had the Hampson aria, and different accounts of the symphony and violin concerto I feel they these are worthy additions to the Korngold library. I can never help feeling he really didn't write anywhere near enough stuff even if he did recycle his tunes!
10 out of 10!